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Monday, October 7, 2013

Finally, Fall

We spent part of weekend following a local river for its annual Scenic Drive. Here and there, there were some colors. Mainly, it was still wildly, unnaturally green, a Stephen King landscape for Children of the Corn. It was hot and humid; enough rain had fallen to make everything steamy. The pumpkins and gourds were thriving; all colors, shapes, and sizes, and photos will follow soon. There is pumpkin spice everywhere, but if we want coffee, it has to be iced. Best Halloween decorations? Bittersweet wreathes we made by using our own bittersweet, plucking the leaves, and shaping the vines into wreathes, tied with orange yarn recycled from a knitting project. I read that John Ashcroft makes wreathes from vines and trees in his own yard, and that he and his wife gave them to visting dignitaries as gifts. My fingers twitch to make cornhusk dolls this time of year, and apple headed figures. Some of mine are over 100 years old; they will last that long if dried properly. The sumac is deep red, at least, and cattails and long grasses wave in the wind, while our rural roads are punctuated with bachelor buttons. The cool days are the best; spent yesterday in the cold, putting up more Halloween decorations, and noting what needs to be raked and mulched to the end of my ravine. It helps to build a foundation for the ground. My gincko tree is not gold yet, but my tomatoes and tiny peppers seem to bear fruit now, and one rose bush has a new shoot. One of my pleasures growing up was a rose bush, the last my grandfather planted, that came up in October, blushing red, perhaps embarrased to bloom so late, yet gorgeous. It was over 25 years old then, a late bloomer in more ways than one. Our city deer meaner in our yards, tame as dogs. "Good morning, Ladies," I greet them everyday, and I fear for them. Despite the need to thin the heard, despite their taste for hothouse plants and vegetable gardens, these are my deer. I would let them live in my ravine, and build them a shelter, if it were not for Horrible Harry across the way, who wants all others' yards and ravines, and who hates all living things. Autumn is in the air; I like the chill. I like being cold. I like the colors and the jackets I have to wear. It is puppy weather, as I used to say to my dog, or sweater weather. November beckons. The Snow Queen waits.

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